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May 30 was a really big day for astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, and SpaceX founder Elon Musk. The launch of Crew Dragon atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was spectacular, and it made space history as the first private launch vehicle to put humans into orbit. The mission was the first NASA spaceflight to depart from American soil since NASA retired its space shuttle fleet in July 2011. The autonomous docking of the Crew Dragon to the International Space Station, while they were both circling the Earth at 17,000 miles per hour was magical. This is the beginning of a new era in space.

On May 28, Bob Reby and I had a Zoom a fireside chat, “How to Strengthen Our Democracy in Troubling Times”. We discussed Internet voting, paper ballots, and how they may impact the future of our democracy. You can watch a video excerpt of the fireside chat here.

We took a poll at the beginning of the Zoom session and 67% of the attendees said they believed Internet voting could strengthen our democracy. A poll at the end of the Zoom session showed 93%. Bob and I will be doing a second Zoom fireside chat on the same subject with the Ridgefield Library on July 14. Details and how to register will follow.

The How We Feel app continues to be important to help scientists track the virus impacts. It may prove a digital approach can work, or at least help. The app is completely private. No login required. If you don’t have the app yet, get it here for Apple or here for Android. As of Friday, in Danbury, CT, 9 thousand people were feeling well and 326 said they were not well.

The World Community Grid just launched OpenPandemics – COVID-19, a new project to help scientists at Scripps Research look for potential COVID-19 treatments. The project is getting off to a fantastic start, but there are likely more than a billion work units of data which need to be crunched as scientists race against the clock to find and test potential treatments. Scientists predict pandemics may become more frequent. That is why the project was designed to be deployed rapidly to fight future outbreaks. I’ll have more about the World Community Grid in a future article.

As of Friday afternoon, Tesla market capitalization continued to climb and was at $164 billion. Zoom reached a market cap of $58 billion, and Uber was at $65 billion. The five giant tech company market caps marched past their already meteoric level. All five companies are global, but to put their massive valuation into perspective, it now represents 24% of the market cap of the U.S. S&P 500. Shareholders are happy but government regulators and politicians are ramping up the discussion about new regulations and anti-trust hearings. I believe pressure on big tech will continue to mount.

MAGFA Market Cap (06/05/20 2:30 PM EDT)
S&P 500 4/30/20$24.140Trillion